From the time l started working for Jenman Safaris I have been keen to join one of the safaris Jenman has to offer – especially the South Africa tour best known as “World in one country.” All my life l have never had the chance to explore all the different provinces of South Africa one after another like l did on this tour!
The day our safari began and we met our clients in the morning for a pre departure meeting at 6.30 am sharp – nice and early! After the meeting we are off to Mpumalanga and our night was spent in the little Gold Rush town of Pilgrims Rest. Mpumalanga is known as “The place where the sun rises” and is a province with spectacular scenic beauty and an abundance of wildlife, lying in the northeast of South Africa. We had our lunch stop at the Longtorn pass. This area is also popular with the Pine Tree plantations… We then continued our way along our journey and passed the Mac Mac Falls. The Mac Mac Falls is 13 km from Sabie towards the Graskop area. We took a steep walk along a cement pathway (with many many many steps!!!) which took us to the viewing platform where we saw the ‘falls’ which are 65metres high. I found out that this waterfall was originally a single stream but, the gold miners blasted it with dynamite to divert the river in an attempt to work the rich gold-bearing reef over which it plunges and this created the 65m Waterfalls!
The following day, my safari continues to the eastern side of Mpumalanga. On our way to ‘Kruger’ we stopped to view God’s Window. Just before lunch time were already in the Kruger National Park which is the largest and more famous parks in Africa. They say Kruger National Park is roughly the size of Israel! We entered Kruger through the Numbi Gate and camped at Pretoriaskup Rest Camp for 2 nights.
The most fascinating game drive for me in the Kruger was the night drive which I totally loved! The guide was very informative and we spotted quite a lot of animals including Elephants and Rhinos. I even spotted a puff adder snake which was on the side of the road. That wasn’t all, at this stage l laughed my lungs out when one of our group members on the drive spotted a spider – can you believe it! On another game drive I managed to see 3 of the big five – Elephants, Lions and Rhinos – which was an amazing experience.
And then we were off to Swaziland. We left Kruger through the Malelane Gate at 8am and we entered Swaziland via Mananga Border. We were at the border by lunch time and then we were off to the Hlane Royal Game Reserve at Ndlovu Camp where we were going to camp for 2 nights. Swaziland is situated against the South African and Mozambique borders in the south eastern Africa. It was very hot in Swaziland though there were a few showers the following day. Swaziland is one the countries in Africa still rich in culture. Our stay at Ndlovu Camp was wonderful; the staff was very hospitable and always smiling. One fascinating thing about Ndlovu Camp is that it does not have electricity and they still use the donkey system for heating the water. The donkey system is where they light fire under water tanks to heat the water which is really amazing and it works very well! The entertainment highlight at Ndlovu was the cultural dances and drumming every night.
After the 2 nights in Swaziland we drove back to South Africa via the Golela/ Lavumisa Border which is the gateway to the Zululand (Kwazulu Natal Province) known as the “Kingdom of the Zulu” and its home to two world heritage sites, ancients San Rock Art, big five game reserves and spectacular coral reefs… One of the attractions is the Zulu villages where you gain an insight on the Zulu Culture. There is a miniature village which has been set up – its called Damazulu Village where you can do a guided tour. The biggest and oldest game reserve in Kwazulu Natal is Hluhluwe Umfolozi Park where you can find the Big Five… This park is famously recognized for its white Rhino conservation.
My journey continues to the Drakensberg – this area is filled with mountains and it boarders with the Kingdom of Lesotho. It’s a very beautiful area because of the breath-taking scenery. We spent 2 nights at the Rock Mountain Lodge which is located at a farm. All you need to do in this area is to relax and listen to nature…
Today we left the Drankensburg to go to the Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape. This is one of South Africa’s most unspoilt areas with vast stretches of lush forest vegetation and spectacular beaches. The coastline is popular with surfers, scuba divers and fishermen – so if you love the water life then you can’t miss this area! The lodge we stayed is called the ‘Hole in the wall’ and it’s surrounded by villages which are all quite unique in its own way. We spent a few hours on the beach because lodge is right on the beach and we had to enjoy this opportunity!
We then headed towards Addo Elephant National Park situated in the malaria–free province. Addo is a sanctuary to lots of game species, an abundance of birdlife and of course the largest herds of elephants. You can also have the chance to see leopards, lions, buffalos, spotted hyenas, a variety of antelope species, lots of warthogs and the unique flightless Dung Beetles. The Dung Beetles are everywhere in the park!
The following day was the end of my trip, so we left Addo to Port Elizabeth for my flight back to Cape Town … This was an amazing experience and I cant wait to go on my next Jenman Safari!